June 21st 2012 8:06 am

76

conclusion:We're mixed

76 March 28th 2013 11:31 am

The Drobo Mini attempts to combine speed and portability by allowing you to put four 2.5-inch SATA drives into a 7-inch x 7-inch device. Slashgear points out that this "places new limits on capacity, since 2.5-inch drives aren’t available in the same huge sizes as their bigger brethren." When testing speeds, MacLife said they "saw 184MBps writes and 256MBps reads from the Drobo mini." However, CNET felt the Drobo Mini "does nothing to impress" and that "the drive seemed to become progressively slower the more data it stored." CNET also had issues with noise, saying the "fans run all the time starting from the moment you turn the drive on, and they're noisy." If you're often out in the field and need solid data protection, this unique drive may be a good option, but keep in mind you'll be limited by storage capacity -- and you'll pay a high price for it as well.

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90-Day Price History

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high
$399
low
$145

Critic reviews

7.2
4 reviews
  • Expandability
    8.0
  • Speed
    7.4
  • Noise
    4.0

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User reviews

8.0
1 review
  • Expandability
    10
  • Speed
    8.0
  • Noise
    6.0
7.0
New York Times Oct 17, 2012

Now, clearly, a Drobo is absurd overkill for many people ... But if you traffic in drive-busting files like photos, music and videos, or if losing your files would kill your small business, a Drobo might make good future-proofing sense.

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6.0
CNET Nov 21, 2012

The esoteric Drobo Mini seems unique mostly for being unique's sake, and offers very little in terms of usability considering its crazily high cost.

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8.0
MacLife Jan 10, 2013

They may seem a little on the pricey side, but the 2012 Drobos are a perfect match for any creative Mac user looking for speed and the reliability of being able to sleep at night knowing your content is safe from drive failure.

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8.0
SlashGear Jan 25, 2013

That balance of performance, flexibility, and data security puts the Drobo Mini into a category of its own, and while not the cheapest external storage, you do get plenty for your money.

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8.0
Pie Pie

Great little unit. I started out with four drives of differing size and manufacture, and eventually populated all slots with 1TB drives of the same type. It handles most things with ease, although it would be nice if one could resize the volumes on the unit.

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